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Recent Issue Summaries

What You've Missed... January/February 2012 Issue

A sampling of what you've missed in the January/February 2012 issue of HAZMAT Packager & Shipper...

As a Subscriber, you would have learned ....

that the UN Subcommittee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods held its 40th session in Geneva, November 28 to December 7, 2011.  This was the second of four subcommittee meetings in the 2011-2012 period with decisions made in these four meetings expected to culminate with publication of the 18th revised edition of the UN Model Regulations, subsequently leading to regulatory changes first taking effect January 1, 2015.  The author summarizes the issues of more general interest.  UN Geneva Dangerous Goods Subcommittee meeting held in November/December 2011.

about an important discussion on what the author views as a flaw in PHMSA’s understanding of the regulations related to 49 CFR 171.23(b)(10)(iv)(A).   DOT TIH requirements differ from those used under the international regulations such as the IMDG Code.  While progress has been made in terms of increasing the degree of safety provided for TIH liquids and gases under the international regulations, hazard communication is one area where harmonization is lacking.  It is clear from the DOT HMR, the US does not regard the international regulations as being adequate.  Placarding of Toxic Inhalation Materials:  Discussion of a DOT Letter of Interpretation.

details about how the year 2011 was a busy one in terms of DOT regulatory actions affecting hazardous materials transportation.  This review highlights the most important of these actions and adds references to pertinent HazMat Alerts issued by JHMT over the course of the year.  A complete listing of all rulemaking activity tracked by JHMT, including certain FMCSA and TSA rulemakings, appears at the end of the issue.  Highlights of PHMSA’s Regulatory Actions for 2011.

that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a final rule entitled “Commercial Driver’s License Testing and Commercial Learner’s Permit Standards”.  Included in the final rule is a change in 49 CFR 383.5 to the definition of “tank vehicle” which, as explained by the author, appears to expand the applicability of the tank vehicle CDL endorsement to intermediate bulk containers (IBCs) and certain previously excluded portable tanks.  As written, this rulemaking portends significant effects on transporters of IBCs and small portable tanks.  Applicability of Tank Vehicle Endorsement Expanded in FMCSA Final Rule.

that certain TSA programs, such as those designed to protect access to U.S. ports, have been criticized by Congressional oversight bodies.  Recent Congressional reports have found internal control weaknesses governing the enrollment, background checking, and use of maritime transportation workers credentials.  The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that several DHS screening and credentialing programs need more coordination.  This article examines the rationalization of these TSA programs, including those affecting hazardous materials transportation, within the greater U.S. policy process of securing the global supply chain.  Rationalizing TSA’s Screening and Credentialing Programs.

about PHMSA’s final rule that was issued on January 19, 2011, responding to appeals on the HM-215K final rule.   HM-215K was issued to harmonize the HMR with the international regulations that have recently taken effect.  The latest HM-215K supplemental publication did not take account of all problems raised by the nine appeals submitted.  The author reviews and comments on DOT’s decisions on the appeals.  PHMSA Responds to Industry Appeals on Final Rule 215K.

about a December 28, 2011, PHMSA HM-218F final rule responding to appeals and making corrections to its July 20, 2011 publication in this docket.  This Docket HM-218F Federal Register publication is the latest in a continuing series of routine amendments to the Hazardous Materials Regulations.  The author summarizes the many changes and identifies the corrections that were made.  PHMSA Publishes Response to Appeals and Corrections to the HM-218F Final Rule.

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